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Thriving Communities Fund

The Thriving Communities Fund will support local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise projects that bring together place-based partnerships to improve and increase the range and reach of available social prescribing community activities – especially for those people most impacted by COVID19 and health inequalities.

Partnerships supported by the fund will come together to plan and deliver community activities involving partners from:

  • the arts, creativity and culture (including museums and libraries)
  • sport
  • nature
  • financial wellbeing
  • community advice
  • and the wider voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector.

Funded activities will increase social connectedness and help communities cope with the impact of COVID19. By working with those communities most impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, including Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities, the projects we will fund will help to:

  • strengthen the range of social prescribing activities offered locally
  • enhance collaboration and networking between local organisations
  • enable social prescribing link workers to connect people to more creative community activities and services.

Grants of between £25,000-£50,000 are available. Projects within the Thriving Communities Fund will run for a year including planning and delivery time. They are expected to commence on 15 March 2021, and end on 31 March 2022.

This Fund, totalling £1.4 million is being delivered by Arts Council England and has been made possible by the National Academy for Social Prescribing (contributing £1.15m from the Department of Health and Social Care) and Arts Council England (providing £250k from the National Lottery). Other strategic partners to the programme include NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, Natural England, the Office for Civil Society, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together.

Read the latest FAQs.

Join our webinar about the Thriving Communities fund and the NHS Charities Together Community Partnership Grants– at 4-5pm, 23 November 2020.

Register for this webinar

Who can apply?

Applications can be led by voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations working in any of the following sectors:

  • Arts, and culture, including libraries, museums and heritage
  • Sport, leisure and physical activity organisations
  • Financial wellbeing, advice, food and practical support
  • Environment and nature-based organisations
  • Non-statutory health and care organisations, working with social prescribing link workers

These organisations may be registered charities, community interest companies, co-operative societies or community benefit societies. A key part of each funded project will be to bring together the necessary place-based partners to work together across all these sectors to plan and deliver community activity.

All applications must demonstrate a commitment to work with partner organisations from all of the above sectors in the course of the funded period.

All applications must evidence the commitment of three core partner organisations – including at least one partner organisation from the arts and culture sector – at the point the application is made.

Applicants will need to provide 20% match funding, which could include:

  • NHS partners (Clinical Commissioning Groups, Primary Care Networks, Integrated Care Systems)
  • local government
  • other trusts and foundations
  • philanthropy or corporate social responsibility
  • or a wide range of other possibilities.

In-kind contributions can include support provided by partners, in addition to cash match – such as staff time, venue hire, project materials and equipment and online services.

A statement of support from the relevant social prescribing link worker(s) for the geographical location of the proposal is required to support each application, which ensures that social prescribing link workers can connect people to the community activities being funded.

How to apply

The Thriving Communities Fund is being administered by Arts Council England – visit their website to explore full details about the initiative, including details of how to apply, and to download programme guidance.

The application portal, on the Arts Council England website, will open for applications on Monday 23 November 2020. Applications must be submitted by 12pm (midday), Friday 8 January 2021.